Tag Archives: Crime

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

Title: The Venom Protocols

Author: John Murray McKay

Publisher: KCEditions

Genre: Crime / Thriller / Suspense

 

 

About the Book:

“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.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Excerpt

They kept coming after us, whistling and shouting as they went. It was like time stopped and everything around me grew quiet. I could sense the brick as it left the man’s hand, feel the texture of the rough red grain as it flew through the air. In slow motion I pushed Peter to the side, feeling him fall away as I turned and felt the brick strike my chest. Chest thumping, blood dripping down my breasts, dress torn as I lay on the dirty pavement sucking in deep swathes of breath. I could not hear Richard’s terrified screams or the laughter of the men, just the torrent of blood in my veins racing faster and faster.

And then it stopped.

About the Author:

Well you’ve found my profile page, thus you’ve already qualified for an attaboy award (a pat on the head and a chuck on the shoulder).

Now comes the part where I tell you about myself (I’ll wait for you to get some popcorn and get comfy).

I am a 20 something writer out of South Africa (Howzit my lanies, ons klap dit stukkend hier!), I am a professional cat herder, with other words a teacher. My favourite authors are Clive Cussler and Terry Pratchett and I am a Marvel comics addict! My inspiration for writing starter with the Johnny Castaway screensaver which I took as inspiration for my first novel “Man on an island.”. I have moved onto the horror/ Sci fi fields now and I can proudly say I am a serial writer and I love doing it!

I love writing about people and strong female characters like Quentin does in his movies.

Something interesting about me? I am wanted for various unstated crimes by the Tunisian Sock Merchant Mafia

Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NDaysSeries

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7480193.John_Murray_McKay

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Book Blitz: ‘Vic Boyo, Doofus Detective in: Double Murders are Twice as Bad’ by Milo James Fowler

Title: Vic Boyo, Doofus Detective in

Double Murders are Twice as Bad

Author: Milo James Fowler

Genre: Crime / Humour

 

 

About the Book:

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.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Excerpt:

Things were quiet, and the hallway was dark. Shaking the wet collar of my trench coat, I reached to unlock the door and stopped. Because it was already open.

Yeah. Somebody was inside, and it wasn’t me.

“Welcome, Mr. Boyo,” came a gravel-coated voice from the impenetrable darkness of my living room. “Please do come in.”

I felt for the heater I always carried along with me, tucked safely into the waist of my pants. One of these days, I planned to spring for one of those swanky shoulder holsters, but that day hadn’t arrived yet.

Squinting into the dark, I shoved the door open.

“Close it, Boyo,” the same voice ordered.

“You forgot something,” I said.

“Yeah?”

“That’s Mr. Boyo to you. Whoever you are.” I shut the door and figured it was dark enough for my heater to make an appearance. Which it did, but I had to aim blindly. Never stopped me before. Hasn’t stopped me since. “Is the power out?”

“We feel safer in the dark. Don’t we, boys?” Deep chuckles came from opposite ends of the room.

Dang. They had me outnumbered.

Gravel-voice continued, “But if you’re an unfortunate victim of achluophobia—”

“Gesundheit,” I said.

“—then we’ll let you have your precious light.”

As soon as the corner lamp switched on, I got a good look at my uninvited guests. Three thugs in striped suits and felt hats held Tommy guns and stood around my sofa where their boss sat smoking a cigar with his feet up on my coffee table. The nerve of that guy. No manners whatsoever. He was a real big butterball and wore an expensive-looking white cotton suit. His thin grey hair was combed back and tucked into a derby as brown and fuzzy as a chestnut mare’s patootie.

I’d already slipped my heater back into the waist of my pants and covered the bulge with my coat. I knew better than to try my luck against those Tommy guns.

“Mind telling me what this is all about?” I said.

The fat man rose and cleared his throat, pointing at me with his stogie. “Tomorrow morning, you’ll be put on the Merryface case.”

“How could you possibly know that?”

“Shut your trap, Boyo, and let me do the talking. I’ve got connections, see? If you’re smart, you’ll refuse. That is, if you plan to be alive this time tomorrow night, you’ll turn the case down and find something healthier to do. Healthier for you, that is. ”

“You make a habit of threatening cops?”

“I make a habit of telling idiots what’s what.” He motioned to his boys and they approached me en masse, heading for the door. “Joey. Give Mr. Boyo a little taste of what’s in store for him.”

“What’s that, Boss?” said one of the gun-toting thugs.

“Give him a glimpse of the bright future that awaits if he doesn’t play ball.”

“Uh…” The thug scratched at his head, obviously at a loss.

The fat man sighed, shaking his head as he regarded the carpet for a moment.  “When you want something done right…” he trailed off.

Then he plowed his fist into my solar plexus, and I doubled over, almost positive the room had capsized. With a groan, I dropped to my knees, straining to breathe.

“Let that be a lesson to you, Boyo. Do the right thing, and nobody gets hurt. Including yourself.” They tromped out of my place and slammed the door shut behind them. Their heavy footfalls echoed down the hallway outside, fading into the distance.

“Good riddance,” I wheezed, stumbling forward to turn the lock.

About the Author:

Milo James Fowler is a teacher by day and a speculative fictioneer by night. When he’s not grading papers, he’s imagining what the world might be like in a dozen alternate realities. So far, his short fiction has appeared in more than 150 publications, including AE SciFiBeneath Ceaseless Skies,CosmosDaily Science Fiction, Nature, and Shimmer. Find his novels, novellas, and short story collections wherever books are sold. Milo is represented by the Zack Company. ​

Website: www.milojamesfowler.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/milojamesfowler

Twitter: @mfowler76

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Author Interview: ‘Based on Lies: It Begins…’ by Debarshi Kanjilal

About the Book:

Based on Lies: It Begins is the first in a series of two novellas. The series tells the story of a few emotionally and psychologically disturbed individuals whose lives are interwoven together.

In this book, we start uncovering stories from Anurag’s past.

An unassumingly personable young man in Calcutta, India, Anurag is a fairly rational individual who sometimes tends to get carried away by emotions; emotions, that he isn’t very good at expressing otherwise. He hasn’t been sleeping well, lately. And he has been writing a diary of his thoughts as he sits awake.

His thoughts revolve around his wife, Aditi, his former lover, Niharika, and a local café owner. They all have lives of their own, and they all have a life equation with one another. And they each hide secrets darker than the other. They have all been involved in several violent crimes where they are sometimes the victim, sometimes the criminal, and sometimes an accomplice. There are no innocent people.

At the end of this book, you may be left with some questions. If you are desperately searching for answers, don’t miss the finale that comes out in the summer of 2018, Based on Lies:

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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 hold a bachelor’s degree in economics and a masters degree in management, and use very little of either in my daily life. Born to a working class family in Calcutta, India, I have always found writing to be therapeutic in not letting my feelings overwhelm me. I hold a full-time job, so writing has taken a back seat in the last few years. But I am making a conscious effort to write more consistently now.

2017 has been a year of firsts for me. I wrote my first crime fiction book. I also got married early this year. The missus and I love taking road trips or spending time with some four-legged friends, whenever we can.

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

Time – generally pretty late at night when I have fewer distractions. Favorite place to write would be the secluded study table at corner of my home office.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Life, mostly. Fiction is but different permutations and combinations of various life events. Once I have a fit, it is about testing the elasticity of its realism.

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 this book, yes I had the ending planned ahead of time. There was a time when I used to start writing first and planning the structure later, but I have realized that that model is less productive.

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

The Based on Lies series is crime thriller, but I explore a variety of other genres. What generally transcends the genre in my writing is that my narrative tends to feel a little eerie and my characters are often pretty twisted. I found the Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris quite fascinating, though; so, you could call that an influence.

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

The story of ‘Based on Lies’ is set in India, so the cast needs to be largely Indian. For global relatability, I guess Priyanka Chopra will be a good fit for the female lead. Having watched her work in Indian noir, I’m pretty confident that she’ll be perfect for the role.

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

I do read, but I will not claim to read much. I enjoy reading Jim Corbett, Jodi Picoult, Stephen King, Marjane Satrapi, Vivek Shanbhag, etc.

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

The Illicit Happiness of Other People by Manu Joseph. Have Sapiens lined up for after this.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

The Maneater of Kumaon by Jim Corbett. It is fast-paced, fascinating, thrilling, and keeps me engaged till the very end. I’ve probably re-read this book more than any other.

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

Get to writing and keep at it. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will be struck by creativity one moment and words will emerge. Make a conscious effort to have a new idea, and craft that idea into words. It is a tedious process, no different than any other work that you do. Pull a chair and sit in front of the laptop until you have made progress with your story.

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

For now, you can follow my Facebook page or my author profiles on Amazon or Goodreads. I just took down my blogs and am currently working to create debarshikanjilal.com, but that is a couple of months away.

About the Author:

Born to a middle class family in Calcutta, India, Debarshi Kanjilal is an indenendent author who has written poems, stories, and books that explore a wide range of emotions. With his first book, Arbit 26, a poem collection, he gave the world a glimpse into his boyhood days and the various moods that he had captured over the years. His second book, Based on Lies: It Begins, is the first of a series of two novellas. It is a psychological thriller and, perhaps, one of the darkest stories to ever come out of India. Based on Lies: It Begins will be available through Amazon from December 1, 2017.

A writer first, Debarshi is also a pet lover, an anti-religionist, a learning designer, and a free thinker. He believes that every individual’s life has a purpose and we should all live our lives to first find, and then fulfill that purpose.

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Book Review: ‘The Sweet Oil of Vitriol’ by Daniel Eagleton

Title: The Sweet Oil of Vitriol: A Tom Glaze Hit Book 1

Published: 23rd February 2017

Author: Daniel Eagleton

 

Synopsis:

Ever get the feeling the staff want to kill you?

After a government sanctioned hit goes spectacularly wrong, Mossad agent Thomas is blamed for the mission’s failure by his superiors, ousted before completing his very first job. Desperate to prove himself, Thomas accepts an offer from his former handler, Yakov, to assassinate Jacob Okonjo, the head of the African Union. It seems Jacob is allowing certain parties to control Africa’s lucrative diamond trade, and in doing so has made some powerful enemies. But like that Mossad hit-team caught on camera in Dubai a few years back, how is Thomas supposed to terminate such a prominent figure without being caught on CCTV? The answer: to work undercover as a room-service waiter at a top London hotel, where, in a few months’ time, Jacob Okonjo will be staying. It’s the perfect plan. Jacob is to be administered an untraceable poison, and afterwards, even if there is an investigation, a trusted member of staff like Thomas will be above suspicion. That’s the idea, anyway. In the meantime, he’s to suffer month after month of boring, menial employment, serving rich, famous people dinner, when he should be making a name for himself amongst the intelligence community. Because you can bet this never happened to Bond or Bourne. Never had to work for tips, subjugating themselves like some average, everyday citizen…

Review:

Spy mystery that will keep you on your toes throughout trying to figure out which way everyone is going to go and what agenda they really have.

Things start out simple enough. Thomas and his team, secret agents hired to take out dangerous people, have been sent on a mission to eliminate someone their government wants gone. Thomas has been sent in advance to get a lay of the land and figure out the best plan of action for when the hit will go down. Their target is a tricky person to pin down with locations, times and whether decoys will be in play. So his task is to figure out every possible scenario before the team, and then their target, gets there. Would seem like a walk in the park for Thomas but he seems to have a little problem with the ladies. In that he can’t seem to stay away from them. Its because of this that the team comes in early to check on his focus, or lack there of. Things go from bad to worse when the time comes to take their target out.

Hit gone wrong and it seems and Thomas and his team are going to take the fall. Well mainly Thomas as he’s the only one that gets caught up with what goes down putting him in the hospital. It seems Uri, the tech guy, is the only one really helping Thomas when everything goes tits up. Even his handler Yakov has taken a bit of a back seat while waiting for the dust to settle. He needs to get out of the hospital before the police arrive, even if he isn’t 100%. Side note when you don’t have the right documents to go back to the hospital it seems wire cutters and a meat tenderizer will do.

Out of the company but not the trade Thomas and Uri go to Yakov to get a new job. Thomas might be wanted but he needs to redeem himself. A new target is set, one with a big payout, but he needs to be clever this time so no one suspects him. Poison is the key and to push any suspicion off him he is going to have to actually work as the waiter and not pose. Seven months till the hit gets to London so by then he should be a natural.

Once an agent always an agent seems to be Thomas’ motto. Said motto seems to attract trouble though. Mainly when a woman is involved. This time the hotels front desk clerk Nadine. Seems she’s in deep with some bad men and Thomas wants to help. The fact that he’s spent the last few months mooning over her being a bit of a key reason. Really he should know better by now. She can see him and his friends for who they really are so you just know a HEA isn’t on the cards.

I could never really get a feel for Yakov. Something was off with him from the start. I always got the feeling that no matter what he was going to throw Thomas under the bus so to speak. Just seems to take Thomas a little longer to figure out. For an agent he didn’t seem very focused with his mission but that could be because he was left to his own devices for so long waiting for his target. Seems trouble is brewing from more than one angle and he is just playing catch up to see it through.

Seemed to pick up more near the end when the chaos seemed to grow. Think the everyday life of him working at the hotel and then his on/off again thing with Nadine seemed to drag a bit. Women definitely seem to be his weakness and if he wants to continue what he’s doing then he’s going to need to work on that. Intriguing paced thriller with a bit of a difference.

For a lot of it I found either he, she or they seemed to be missing from sentences. Almost like you just would assume they were there so added them anyway in your mind while reading. A few other spelling mistakes and errors throughout (‘She put his hand on his’ instead of ‘She put her hand on his’) but nothing too major, just enough to stand out through rest of clean edit.

3 out of 5 stars

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

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Author Interview: ‘Dark Water’ by Simon Thould

About the Book:

A girl goes missing – but has she been lost, or taken? Her frantic mother begs for help from the one man with the ruthless skills to track her down. Alex Rafter, former sniper, sees Madeleine Finch as a bad, erratic mother, and is reluctant to go back to a life he is trying to forget. But his own nightmares compel him to search, for the girl’s sake.

Rafter embarks on a murderous hunt, aided by Gabriel Montero, another former soldier, that leads through the wilds of the New Forest to the squalid back streets of Southampton. Rebecca Grant, local veterinary, drug addict and would-be lover, offers help, but her own agenda threatens to send Rafter astray. It becomes a race against time to find the girl before she is lost forever to the heartless world of people traffickers.

What people are saying:

“High intensity fight scenes… Thould’s writing style is to the point and sparse, emphasizing action over poetics.” Midwest Book Review

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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 have always written since I was a boy, poems to start, then little stories and articles before feeling as I got into my forties, that I had enough life experience to tackle full-length novels. I think I express myself best in words as I am quite an introvert and was raised in a household where discussing stuff never really happened.

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

My writing practice has developed now so I write 1,000 words to one chapter every morning, early-ish, taking as long as it takes to do that. Then I make notes for the next chapter, let that work in my brain overnight then do another 1,000 words the next morning and so on.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Ideas come from anything that strikes a chord – can be seeing someone or something, hearing something, and then usually a sentence or two will just pop into my mind and I write it down along the lines of, ‘what if?’ I usually have a theme that interests me, for Dark Water, it was the struggle our ex-military guys have re-integrating back into civvie street after a lifetime of battle service.

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 have to know my characters first. I scan and surf looking for pictures of people that fit the image I have in my head of the sort of personality I want for each character. Then I prepare extensive character charts and plan out the basic storyline on large accounting sheets that give me enough space to plot. Then, once I really know my characters as well as I do myself (sometimes even better!), I put the characters into situations and listen, watch and write down what they say and do. The story then just looks after itself using narration rather than too much ‘purple prose’. I plan on writing 80,000 words in 1,000 word chapters. I have a picture in my mind at all times, it’s a very visual process for me.

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

I would describe my books as an English version of the American hard-boiled, noir genre. I have always liked best writing that is character driven, in spare, direct language, just what really appeals to me. I get easily bored with too much descriptive stuff going on and will skip pages accordingly.

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

For Dark Water, the main character, Alex Rafter, is based on the physical appearance of the US actor Dylan McDermott. I found some pictures of him where he had exactly the look I wanted to represent the ‘lost soul’ Rafter had become after the army. I suspect that Rafter is in some way the alter ego I would like to have been! The only other famous face I have used is the Chinese actress Zhang Zlyl (Crouching Tiger…) as Gabriel’s partner, while for the next Rafter story, Dark Horizon, (first draft just finished) I have used Dylan’s real life partner, Maggie Q for the co-main character.

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

I read at least one book a week, usually of the thriller/crime genre and almost exclusively American authors. The only British writer I like is Mark Billingham. My all-time favourite is the late, great Elmore Leonard and I try to keep my writing along his ‘Rules for Writing’. I found a publisher, ‘Hard Case Crime’, that deals exclusively in the hard-boiled genre and I read Donald Westlake, James M. Cain, Lawrence Block, et al. I also enjoy Robert B. Parker, Michael Connelly and Robert Crais a lot.

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

I’m currently reading Stephen King’s, ‘Mr. Mercedes’, bit of a departure from his usual horror books.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Hard to have one favourite but, if I had to pick, probably Elmore Leonard’s, ‘ Out of Sight’. It was a great movie also with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. It would be closlely followed by his, Raylan’.

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

If you are ‘thinking’ about becoming a writer, you probably shouldn’t try it. But, if you feel in your very soul that you have to write then go for it 100%. Read everything you can get your hands on, write as much as you can about anything until your own ‘natural’ style evolves. I write what I like to read, so there’s that too.

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

There’s my Facebook and Twitter pages and some stuff available on the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency website too. I am considering creating my own website sometime in the not too distant future.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Simon-Thould

Twitter: @simonthould

Andrew Lownie Literary Agency website: www.andrewlownie.co.uk/authors/simon-thould

 

About the Author:

 

Simon was born in Somerset, England, where he went to public school and played rugby and cricket with more enthusiasm than he studied. He later managed to qualify as a chartered surveyor and practised for over twenty years in both public and private sectors in London and the south of England. Simon completed two Creative Writing night school courses and a Writers’ Bureau correspondence course in his spare time. He also worked as a restaurant and bar manager in Hampshire before moving with his two black cats to a mountain farmhouse in Andalusia, southern Spain for a year and a half. There he wrote his first novel.

He moved back to the UK and worked as a resident housekeeper and groom in Kent and wrote a second novel.

Then he relocated to Charleston, South Carolina, USA for several years and worked in warehouse stock control, sold insurance and then artwork in a downtown gallery. Returning to the UK once more, he worked as a postman and in several retail positions and wrote a third unpublished novel.

Simon moved to the island of Gozo in 2014 and wrote, ‘DarkWater’, a thriller introducing Alex Rafter. After a lifetime of rejections from publishers and agents with only minor success with magazine articles, Simon made a final push to try and get published. He sent the synopsis and three chapters to more than fifty UK agents before being lucky enough to be taken on by David Haviland of the Andrew Lownie Literary Agency in London. ‘Dark Water’ is being published in August 2017.

Simon’s passions, other than writing, are reading hard-boiled, noir novels, watching classic movies, travel and following National Hunt horse racing. He has been married twice and has a daughter, Lucy.  He currently lives in Almunecar on the Andalusian coast and has just completed the first draft of a second, ‘Alex Rafter’ novel.

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