Tag Archives: Suspense

Book Review: ‘The Teenage Spy’ by Naila

Title: The Teenage Spy

Published: 1st April 2017

Publisher: Notion Press

Author: Naila

 

Synopsis:

Everybody loves to dream. They dream of becoming what they want. One such extraordinary dream was that of William Dunk. A teenager, living in North Bellwood, William Dunk aspires to become a spy. Growing up among spy novels and movies, he consequently loses his interest in his medical studies that his father Richard Dunk, a well Known businessman, had pushed him to do. His obsession for becoming a spy results in his expulsion from high school. His father loses his calm and banishes him from his mansion. William moves to South Bellwood and finds a best friend in his neighbor. The two embark on a mission to fulfill William’s dream. But is it really easy to go through after what one wants they get? After all, Bigger the aims, bigger the risks!

 

Review:

An interesting novella that follows William while he tries to make his childhood dream of becoming a spy a reality – let’s see how that goes.

William wants to be a spy so tends to explain things in a way that you would by breaking down information with a case. It’s just a shame that his school and father have no interest in him being one, thinking it is just a passing phase that he just won’t leave behind. After being expelled from school, and then subsequently thrown out of the house by his father, he goes to live in his late grandma’s old empty house. This sees him soon makes friends with Ryan, and after telling him his dream of being a detective and/or spy, they soon try to locate an agency where he can work and hone in his skills.

After what seems like a wasted day going round so many places and finding squat they hold out everything on the last place on the list. Seems this place is a hit and luckily comes with a dorm – good job too with William’s serious lack of funds. It seems Mr. Wood, the head of agency, thought he came across as someone to watch so sets Mr. Dancey the task of training him. William just has to make it through the first stage of training before he is admitted into the U.M.A – Undercover Missions Agency, which is the real deal with spy agencies.

Training begins with tests along the way to see if he has what it takes to be a true agent. With how much he wants it you know he will fly through. Cases soon pile up but when they get a bit too close to home things get dicey.

The SF agency is the darker side of the agency world where people pay them to do their dirty work. One person on the payroll is a doctor who hypnotizes his patients to do the deeds for them. Win-win as nothing comes back to them. When a few UMA agents fall foal and commit murders William steps up to try to figure things out and take them all down. Can he save the day or will he get caught in the crossfire’s?

Interesting starting point but I think it needed a bit more work done to it to make it a cleaner read. It kept jumping between present and past tense and at times it seemed like a word or two was missing or needed taking out from the sentence for it to make sense. Not much of a twist but more just flowing through from one case to the next. There may be a bit of danger along the way but it’s nothing he can’t handle.

2 for edit and 3 for story out of 5 stars

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

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Author Interview: ‘Caina’ by Joe Albanese

About the Book:

Twins tend to be closer than typical siblings. They often share a bond that is oftentimes unexplainable.*

For some reason that bond didn’t apply to Grant and Lee Tolan. Grant was always the responsible one. Lee, on the other hand, was always in trouble and in jail, self-destructing to the point the twins hadn’t seen or spoken in years.

In trouble with the Irish mob who wanted him sleeping with the fishes, finding Grant dead of an apparent suicide, Lee did the only thing that made sense. He switched identities.

Instead of making life easier, Lee is plunged into a world the Irish and Italian crime families, the Mexican cartel and the DEA. Pitting one against the other, Lee enlists the help of friends to save his own life. He will need a miracle.

But Grant’s secret is the biggest shock of all for Lee and he must re-evaluate his entire life.

*Maureen Healy, author of Growing Happy Kids.

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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?

My name is Joe. I live in New Jersey. I write fiction and poetry. I have a novel, Caina, and a novella, Smash and Grab. I don’t like talking about myself, so this is borderline torture for me.

Years ago, my friend asked if I wanted to write a screenplay with him. It sounded amusing. He was high at the time. I don’t have an excuse. It turned out really bad, but I had fun creating something from scratch, so I kept writing and transitioned from screenwriting to prose and poetry.

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

Most of my writing gets done in the middle of the night at the kitchen table. That’s the only time it’s quiet, and there’s less TV and internet going on to distract me. But I do enjoy a rainy day spent writing.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

If I had a good answer to that, I probably wouldn’t currently be out of ideas.

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?

Mostly I plan. Smash and Grab is the only story where I just started writing with no real idea other than the opening. It kind of worked out because some of the twists surprised even me. For everything else, including Caina and the novel I just finished, I take a shit-ton of notes until a full story is in my head, then I do notecards to help organize, then outline, then write, then contemplate suicide, then rewrite.

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

There’s almost always a criminal element to them, and usually from the criminals’ perspective. I went to school for criminal justice, so that probably had some influence. But you can always have more fun with characters who blur the line between right and wrong.

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

For Caina, I think Sam Rockwell would deliver the comedic dialogue best. He’s probably too old though. I’d be a terrible casting director. Martin McDonagh would be my dream director for it though.

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

I used to read a lot, but I’ve barely read anything in 2018. The only writers I’ve read a lot of are Charles Dickens for fiction and Charles Bukowski for poetry. I try to read a variety.

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

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I read The Graveyard Book last Halloween and really liked it, and I’ve seen a few of his movie adaptations, so I figured I need to read more of his since he’s so popular.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

A Clockwork Orange. The language is so good. It takes a couple chapters to get used to, but it’s so good.

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

You start by laying the rope out like an S.

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

 You can find me on Twitter @JoeAlba88

 

About the Author:

Joe Albanese is a writer from South Jersey. He has had short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry published in the United States, Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, and Sweden. Joe is the author of “Smash and Grab” and “Caina.”

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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: ‘Manual for Murder’ by Gonçalo JN Dias

Title: Manual for Murder

Author: Gonçalo JN Dias

Genre: Murder & Mayhem / True Crime / Thriller / Suspense

 

About the Book:

Marina, a 38-year-old accountant in a crumbling relationship, falls in love with a charming colleague who is married with a son. The two begin a torrid relationship. One commits a murder.

Oscar, a homicide detective, is assigned to the case. He is a man dedicated to his work and to his family, and he likes to joke about and mock the typical American police series.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

From 26th to 28th of July you will be able to download this book for free directly from the author’s official blog, in any digital format.

Direct link: www.gjnd-books.blogspot.com.es

 

Excerpt

From Marina, a 38-year-old accountant in a crumbling relationship, falls in love with a charming colleague (Andre):

“Looking back, I can identify several reasons why I fell in love with Andre, and they are largely related to defects that I projected onto Julio to justify my behaviour. His sense of humour was one reason. Andre was funny, with his dark humour, refined and clever, but he could also be melancholy, quiet and needy. He was comfortable talking about his faults, his defeats, failures and fears. Julio’s sense of humour was more conservative. He was also funny, but he couldn’t laugh at himself. He held himself in high regard, thought that he was intellectually superior to most people, and had an opinion about every topic. He loved to argue and never took the blame for anything. I would be lying if I said that physical factors had no bearing on my choice. During our thirteen years together, Julio had gained over three stone. When we met, he was a handsome young man, almost 5’9” tall and weighing 12 1/2 stone, and with lovely, curly light brown hair. Thirteen years later, he weighed nearly 16 stone. He was practically bald, but refused to accept it by preserving half a dozen hairs in an absurd attempt to hide the fact. He knew that he was becoming fat, but did nothing to get in shape; he constantly made plans but never put them into practice. Andre was no Greek god, but he was clearly more attractive. Every Sunday morning he played squash with friends from university. He had a small belly, but his body was firm, and he was happy to use creams and perfumes. Julio was a true gentleman when he made love; he always asked permission, and if I said that I wasn’t in the mood, he understood and never insisted. He liked to talk during the act, to ask me if everything was good, if I wanted to change position. At the end, he wanted me to approve of his performance. Andre never asked permission; he won the right to make love through his insistence, confidence and determination. He never spoke during the act, nor asked for an assessment. He knew that he satisfied me.

However, out of all the reasons I could find to justify my actions, what really made me want to be with Andre was hope: the fantasy of being with someone who understood me, who didn’t criticize me, who saw the world through the same eyes; it was the belief that Andre would banish all my ghosts, my doubts and anxieties, and that I would once again dream, fly, have projects and ambitions, wake up in the morning with a lust for life. What I saw in Andre was hope, so much hope.”

 

From Oscar, a homicide detective, who is assigned to the case (second chapter):

” The autopsy results came on Monday. There were no signs of violence or rape. The victim had been injected with bleach or a similar cleaner and then, already unconscious, had died in the fire with her hands cuffed to car’s armrest, so that she couldn’t flee and survive. Pretty macabre and sick. Neither on her body nor on the remains of her burnt clothes did we find any fibre from anyone we could use as evidence. Which led to another question: if she had been killed for money, why hadn’t the killer withdrawn any more? Or stolen her laptop or her wedding ring?

There were several questions to ask Sofia’s relatives, principally Andre, so we waited until the funeral that Wednesday, and then, on the followings days, we called in different relatives to give statements. The funeral was held at the Limiar Cemetery, fairly close to the deceased’s house. It was full of people, relatives, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and the curious. I watched Andre carefully, looking for some abnormal reaction or odd closeness, but I detected nothing.”

About the Author:

The life of this character is full of contradictory information and rumours. Both his date of birth and home town are uncertain. Some say he hails from a suburban ghetto in Lisbon (Portugal); while others claim that he was born in eastern Russia, in the city ofVladivostok, sometime in the ‘60s.

According to gossips, he worked for the Reagan Administration in the early ‘80s, and helped to weaken the Soviet economy, although others say that he worked for the KGB as a spy in the western world.

At the end of the ‘80s, he was spotted in Seattle, working as a grunge music producer under the pseudonym of Johnny Blanco.

His location was mystery for over a decade until, at the beginning of the century, he emerged as an executive in the burka trade between the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan with the name of Mustafa Blanco. Clashes between the Taliban and US troops forced him to vanish again for a while.

Nowadays, there are some rumours that he became a hermit and lives in the woods of a small town, No Name, Colorado, United States, spending his time reading and writing; others, however, claim that he resides in Tennessee as a country music singer, with the name Marcogekson Blanco.

What is certain is that he wrote two books. The first one, The Good Dictator, was a real failure; although it was translated into several languages, it only sold two copies.  The second one, Manual for a Murder, was said to incite violence and killing, and has been banned in several countries, including Tuvalu and Kyrgyzstan.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/goncalo.n.dias.7

Twitter: @GoncaloJNDias

Blog: www.gjnd-books.blogspot.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/15193649.Gon_alo_J_Nunes_Dias

Amazon author: www.amazon.com/Gon%C3%A7alo-J.-Nunes-Dias/e/B01A77NFNO

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Author Interview: ‘Succubus’ by Regis P. Sheehan

About the Book:

2003: The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has taken place. The hunt for Saddam Hussein and the search for his weapons of mass destruction is underway.

Meanwhile in North Korea, a nuclear research scientist wants to defect.

The “Org” is tasked to bring her out.

…. If possible ….

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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 was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Following graduation from Duquesne University, I went into the Army as a 2LT and served for a few years in Germany as an Infantry Officer.

After several more intervening years in Florida (working in social service programs), I became a Special Agent with the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (or DSS). It was during those intervening years that the interest in writing – both fiction and non-fiction – took hold. Unfortunately, some 26 years passed between my initial interest and any serious action on my part.

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

Although now retired from the DSS, I am still working 40 hours per week as a contractor, so my writing has to come in the evenings and on weekends. I also carry around a notebook to jot down ideas regarding plots and characters as they come to me.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

The ideas primarily come from current events and from (unclassified) snippets of developments that I have witnessed during the course of my career. There seems to be no shortage of international conflict from which to draw.

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?

In general, I usually have an idea as to how the story begins and how it will end. I always try to provide authentic scenarios as to time frames, local events and history. Filling in the middle is the hard part!

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

All are in the Thriller/Espionage genre. It is my favorite fiction genre for reading.

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

The character of “Bear” (Paul Medved) has always appeared to me as the middle-aged Nick Nolte. The other major characters are based upon true acquaintances of mine (largely unbeknownst to them).

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

I am reading constantly. These vary from fiction to non-fiction (the latter mainly histories, both for personal enjoyment and for research).

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

“Rocket Men” (Kurson), “Rise and Kill First” (Bergman), “Secrets and Lies in Vietnam” (Dimiritikas), and “Shadow Warfare’ (Hancock).

9: What is your favourite book and why?

“Machiavelli – A Biography” (Miles). This brought the much-maligned Florentine to life in an engaging and relevant way.

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

If you feel the urge to write, start now. There is no point in waiting for some ideal time to do so in the future. And if you do start to write, treat it as a project to be completed – not an idle hobby that you will “get to” every now and then.

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

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/6895316.Regis_P_Sheehan

Facebook: www.facebook.com/regis.sheehan

 

About the Author:

A native of Pittsburgh and a resident of Northern Virginia, the author is a former Special Agent of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), U.S. State Department.

His career included criminal investigations and dignitary protection in the Miami and Washington field offices, as well as a tour in MSD – or the DSS Mobile Security Division. With MSD he provided training, tactical support to protective details and emergency security enhancement to high threat embassies and consulates around the world.

Assigned overseas, he was a member of the Regional Security Offices in El Salvador, South Africa and China.

Prior to retirement, he served as the Chief of the DSS Counterintelligence Division.

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