Dog Fight by Michael J. Malone


About the book:

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Kenny O’Neill, a villain with a conscience, returns in a hard-hitting thriller of exploitation, corruption and criminal gangs. When Kenny’s cousin, Ian, comes to the aid of a fellow ex-squaddie in a heap of trouble, he gets caught up in the vicious underground fight scene, where callous criminals prey on the vulnerable, damaged and homeless. With Ian in too deep to escape, Kenny has no option other than to infiltrate the gang for the sake of his family. Kenny is an experienced MMA fighter, as tough as they come, but has he found himself in the one fight he can never win?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

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Michael Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult, maybe.

He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Don’t ask.

BLOOD TEARS, his debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers and when it was published he added a “J” to his name to differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake.

He is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website and his blog, May Contain Nuts can be found at

He can be found on twitter – @michaelJmalone1


My thoughts:

Dog Fight is a Scottish crime/gangland thriller that follows Kenny O’Neill and his cousin Ian. Ian gets into a spot of bother after trying to help out his friend Dom and he doesn’t bank on the hassle that he gets in the aftermath.

Ian gets dragged into the world of underground fighting. Basically beating the living daylights out of an opponent until they can’t take anymore. When Kenny finds out where Ian has disappeared off to, he has little option left but to try and find a way into the fights to see if he can reach his cousin.

What follows is a dark and gritty tale of violence and retribution. The elements of the gangland culture that are woven into the novel make for interesting reading. Power and greed also play a large part in Dog Fight, in many different ways.

I don’t usually read books that have a gangland type theme as I’m not the biggest fan of them. That being said, Dog Fight is a decent read. It has some shady characters, and more than one story going on. I think if you enjoy the likes of Martina Cole et al, then you would enjoy Dog Fight immensely.


Blackout by Mark Dawson

Big thanks to Sophie Goodfellow for my copy of Blackout, and for the gentle reminder to read it asap! 🙂

About the book:


An offer he couldn’t refuse. A murder he can’t remember…
John Milton’s life is about to change. The former government assassin follows a lead to Manila that he hopes will change his life. But he never expected to wake up in an unfamiliar hotel room beside a murder victim. And, unfortunately for him, Milton doesn’t remember a thing about the night before.

Thrown into a gruesome Filipino prison, he puts together the clues that led to his betrayal. With no allies and even less hope, Milton must use his wits to escape and take revenge on the men who put him there. If he doesn’t lose his life in the process…

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

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Mark Dawson worked as a lawyer and in the London film industry before writing full-time. His books have been published in multiple languages and have been downloaded more than one million times.

He is currently writing three series.

The John Milton series features a disgruntled assassin who aims to help people to make amends for the things that he has done.

The Beatrix Rose series features the headlong fight for justice of a wronged mother – who happens to be an assassin – against the six names on her Kill List. The series continues with Beatrix’s daughter, Isabella, and the Secret Service agent who has taken her in.

Soho Noir is set in the West End of London between 1940 and 1970. The first book in the series, “The Black Mile”, deals with the (real life but little known) serial killer who operated in the area during the Blitz. “The Imposter” traces the journey of a criminal family through the period; it has been compared to The Sopranos in austerity London.

Mark lives in Wiltshire, in the UK, with his family.

You can find him at or

You can get his Starter Library – two best-selling novels and two novellas, with hundreds of five star reviews between them – by signing up for his mailing list at:

My thoughts:

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a big fan of series. I love nothing more than finding a character/series that I know immediately will suck me in. Blackout is one of those books. What’s worse (not really worse) is that it is book TEN in the John Milton series. So it goes without saying that I will need to buy the previous nine books because Blackout was brilliant!

John Milton gets a call to go to Manilla, and this call changes his life immeasurably. Waking up in a hotel room with a murdered woman in the bathroom is not how his trip was supposed to go. How did he get there? And why is there a dead woman in the hotel room with him?

What follows is a high-octane read. I genuinely couldn’t put the book down because I just had to know what happened. Milton ends up imprisoned in Manilla for a murder he doesn’t remember committing. Alone, in danger and unable to find a way out, he has to gamble his life to find a way out.

Blackout is such a fun read. It is reminiscent of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. Nomadic, chaotic and full of action right from the off. The location is so perfectly described that the reader can almost feel the stifling heat and the claustrophobia of the prison. The characters are well-written, the plot is worthy of an action movie. These are my kinds of books, without a doubt.

Milton himself is a compelling character. I know that by not having read the previous 9 books, I’m at a disadvantage in terms of his full history, but Blackout can easily be read as a standalone. John is a decent guy for all intents and purposes, past history aside. I really liked how vulnerable the author made his character. Putting him in an impossible situation really showed how tenacious Milton can be. Driven to find answers, regardless of the consequences.

I don’t want to say any more, I could though. I could say loads. I am genuinely excited to find a new author and a new series to catch up on. My TBR mountain has just expanded by, at the very least, 9 books! 🙂

Mark Dawson, it is safe to say you have a new fan!

Highly recommended!


J. A. Schneider~ Watching You #covershare

Hi everyone,

In case you missed it, J. A. Schneider has a new cover for her forthcoming book, Watching You and it looks fab!

Feast your eyes on this beauty…


About the book:

A serial killer texts his victims first. A detective vows revenge. He comes after her.
In the chill of an October night, Detective Kerri Blasco is called to a bizarre murder scene. Leda Winfield, a young volunteer for the homeless, has been shot. Her cell phone displays the frightening text, WATCHING YOU, and into her back, hideously pushed with a hat pin, is a note with the same awful message. Leda’s socialite family and friends insist that no one would have wanted to harm her, but Kerri isn’t convinced.
Until another random young woman is killed in the same way. Kerri and her team profile a monstrous killer who enjoys terrifying his victims before stalking and killing them. But how does he get their phone numbers?
Kerri soon finds that the killer is after her, too, and that the key to finding him may just be in the homeless shelter. When the body count rises, she vows to stop the madman – even if it means battling her own personal trauma, risking her job, her love relationship with her boss Alex Brand, and her life.

Buy the book:

Watching You by J. A. Schneider

About the author:


J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek Magazine, a wife, mom, and reading addict. She loves thrillers…which may seem odd, since she was once a major in French Literature – wonderful but sometimes heavy stuff. Now, for years, she has become increasingly fascinated with medicine, forensic science, and police procedure. She lives with her family in Connecticut, USA.

Previous posts:

Cover share for J.A Schneider

*Blog Tour* Her Last Breath by J. A. Schneider

*Blog Tour* Boundary by Andrée A. Michaud~ Giveaway

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Boundary by Andrée A. Michaud, published by No Exit Press tomorrow! I am running a giveaway for a copy of Boundary today, more on that below. First though, here’s the all-important bookish info!

About the book:


It’s the Summer of 1967. The sun shines brightly over Boundary lake, a holiday haven on the US-Canadian border. Families relax in the heat, happy and carefree. Hours tick away to the sound of radios playing ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ and ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’. Children run along the beach as the heady smell of barbecues fills the air. Zaza Mulligan and Sissy Morgan, with their long, tanned legs and silky hair, relish their growing reputation as the red and blond Lolitas. Life seems idyllic.

But then Zaza disappears, and the skies begin to cloud over..

Get your copy by clicking HERE.

About the author:


Andrée A Michaud is a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction (Le Ravissement in 2001 and Bondrée in 2014) and the recipient of the Arthur Ellis Award and the Prix Saint-Pacôme for best crime novel for Bondrée, as well as the 2006 Prix Ringuet for Mirror Lake (adapted for the big screen in 2013). As she has done since her very first novel, Michaud fashions an eminently personal work that never ceases to garner praise from critics and avid mystery readers alike. In 2010, her thriller Lazy Bird, set to the rhythms of jazz, was published by Les Éditions du Seuil in France, as part of the Point Noir Collection.



I’m lucky enough to be able to give a copy of Boundary to one lucky reader, and it couldn’t be easier to enter. All you have to do is leave me a comment below this post. It is that easy!

Good luck! 🙂

*UK and Ireland entries only. Winner will be contacted and a copy will be sent from the publishers*

Follow the blog tour:

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*Blog Tour* After She’s Gone by Maggie James

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for After She’s Gone by Maggie James and I get to share my review with you all! As usual though, here’s the all-important bookish information first!

About The Author
Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!



Goodreads Author Page:




About the Book:

Publication date: March 16th
Lori Golden’s family has had more than its fair share of troubles. But through it all, Lori and her sister, Jessie, have always supported each other. Then Jessie is killed. And Lori’s world turns upside down.

Devastated, Lori struggles to cope with her loss, and to learn to live in a world without her bright, bubbly sister by her side. Around her, her already fractured family starts to fall apart. And as Lori and her mother try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, secrets long thought buried are coming painfully to light.

Faced with the unthinkable, Lori is forced to ask herself how well she really knows those who are left behind…

Buy the book: 

After She’s Gone by Maggie James



My thoughts:

After She’s Gone is the third book I’ve read by Maggie James so going into this I had an idea of her writing style. I made a point of not reading the blurb again to refresh my memory before I began reading. I often find this helps as I have no prior expectations when picking up a book to read.

This book is a psychological thriller of sorts. There is also a crime element, as well as a touch of domestic noir. Not necessarily a mish-mash as they all probably fall under a similar umbrella when it comes to describing the genre, but enough of a mix to keep the reader guessing…

And there’s the rub. I guessed, correctly, very early on. For no other reason except that I read so many of these books that usually I can figure it out fairly quickly. This didn’t bother me while I was reading though. There are plenty of things going on in After She’s Gone to keep the reader turning the pages.

As per usual, no plot dissection here. After She’s Gone is an interesting tale of family secrets and the damage that they can do. I think if you’re new to the genre, and want to get a feel for a psych thriller, then this is a good introduction. 

Follow the blog tour:

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Previous Maggie James posts:

The Second Captive by Maggie James

Blackwater Lake by Maggie James

Revenge of The Malakim by Paul Harrison

About the book:


It’s high summer and the streets of Bridlington East Yorkshire are awash with tourists. A serial killer is on the loose. DCI Will Scott and his team embark upon a fast paced investigation to catch a killer with a unique agenda. As the body count rises the killer randomly moves location and the police are unwittingly drawn into a dark and sinister world where cover-ups and corruption reigns. A place where no one can truly be trusted and nothing is ever what it seems.

Buy your copy: Revenge Of The Malakim by Paul Harrison

About the author:

Paul Harrison is a retired police officer, with a successful career that spanned three decades.  During that time, he worked on some memorable high profile investigations, and interviewed countless criminals who operated within the darker side of humanity.  Paul began writing and had his first book published during his time in the police.  Since then, he has gone on to write 34 books, mainly in the field of true crime.  Now he has turned all that experience into writing crime fiction.   His first novel Revenge of the Malakim will be published in the Spring 2017.



My thoughts:

Revenge of the Malakim is the first book in the Grooming Parlour Trilogy and the first book by Paul Harrison that I’ve read. It follows DCI Will Scott as he is tasked with investigating a spate of murderers attributed to a serial killer stalking the streets of Bridlington.

No plot discussion or big reveals here, but what I will say is that this is a relatively gruesome read in places for those who may be averse to violence. I read so many of these books, so to be honest, that kind of stuff doesn’t bother me, but just remember that when you read it.

There is a lot more going on than the killings themselves. Revenge of the Malakim explores many themes, most notably corruption. I can’t say much more about it without giving anythug away or revealing some of the subtle hints the author has dropped between the pages. 

I reckon Revenge of the Malakim may be a little divisive for readers. While elements of the book are quite interesting, some of it may be a little harder for people to get on with. That being said, it has more than enough to keep the reader turning the page to see what is happening and why! 

A Presence of Absence by Sarah Surgey and Emma Vestrheim

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for A Presence of Absence by Sarah Surgey and Emma Vestrheim. Ellen’s review is further down the post, but have a look at all of the bookish info first!

About the book:

A Presence of Absence High Res

A Presence of Absence is the first book in The Odense Series. Although this is a solid crime novel, it also begins and ends with grief for many of the characters, personal demons and life decisions.

A gritty murder case gets in the way of the characters’ everyday lives and sends the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish city of Odense, into a panic.

British detective Simon Weller escapes the fallout from the recent suicide of his Danish wife, Vibeke and heads out to her home city of Odense. But once there he is paired up with a local detective, Jonas, who is also about to his rock bottom in his home life, and they must overcome their differences and personal problems to try and catch one of the worst serial killers Odense has ever seen. The case takes them back into past decades as history starts catching up with some of the local inhabitants. When Simon realises that his wife’s suicide may not be all it seems and her name appears in the cas, his integrity within the case is compromised, how far will he go to find out the truth of Vibeke’s past and hide it from his already troubled police partner?

Back home in London Simon’s family are struggling with their own web of lies and deceit and the family is falling apart.

With one family hiding a dark secret, the whole case is just about to reach breaking point.

Amazon USA:
Amazon UK:

About the authors:

Sarah Surgey


Sarah Surgey is a 36 year old British feature writer for various magazines. She lives in the UK with her husband and 4 daughters.

She has had an interest in all things Nordic for many years and has written about many genres within this subject for publication. Although British, she has Danish family and enjoys exploring Denmark and its culture whenever the opportunity arrives.

Sarah was brought up with crime books and inevitably has always had crime story scenarios going around inside her head. After interviewing many famous authors for different magazines within the Nordic literary circle and always knowing the answer to her question of “why did you start writing?” she felt now was her time to get her stories out there, for people to read!

Emma Vestrheim


Emma Vestrheim is the owner and editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia, a Nordic film and television journal that analyses popular Nordic titles. Part of her work includes working with directors, actors and filmmakers, and her numerous interviews with the biggest names in Nordic film and television have given her a privileged access to what makes Nordic narratives so successful. Cinema Scandinavia publishes bimonthly and is available in major Nordic film libraries.

Author links:

Instagram: Sarah: Emma:


Ellen’s review:

I haven’t read much Nordic Noir so jumped at the opportunity to read and review A Presence of Absence which jumps between London and the Danish city of Odense. Odense is the birthplace of Hans Christian Anderson and a series of horrific murders in this quiet city sends the locals into a panic. The murders appear to be random attacks; people are being strung up and hay is left stuffed in their mouths.

Simon Weller (who is recovering from his wife Vibeke’s suicide) is appointed the investigating officer and teamed with local detective Jonas. Both men are battling their own personal demons and in danger of damaging their careers. I enjoyed seeing these mismatched characters attempting to pull together to resolve the mystery rather than tear each other down.


Meanwhile, back in London, Simon’s daughter Sanne has issues of her own. As well as dealing with the her mother’s suicide, her husband is acting strangely and is not happy that Simon is investigating the Odense case.  I really felt sorry for Sanne, at the one time when she needed her husband’s support he wasn’t interested.


This isn’t just a book about crime and retribution, it is one of grief and the ripple effect it can have on everyone. An amalgamation of Nordic Noir and Brit Crime equals a winning combination! Four stars from me and I look forward to reading more in the series.

Make sure to follow the blog tour:

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