Cover Reveal: Black 13 by Adam Hamdy

Morning lovelies!

Today, I am delighted to be able to reveal the cover Black 13 by Adam Hamdy! Adam is the author of the Pendulum trilogy, one of my favourite book series of the last few years!


About the author:

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British author and screenwriter Adam Hamdy works with studios and production companies on both sides of the Atlantic. 

He is the author of the Pendulum trilogy, an epic series of conspiracy thriller novels.  James Patterson described Pendulum as ‘one of the best thrillers of the year’, and the novel was nominated for the Glass Bell Award for contemporary fiction, and chosen as book of the month by Goldsboro Books and WH Smith Travel.  Pendulum was also selected for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club.  

Prior to embarking on his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in the medical systems, robotics, technology and financial services sectors, experience that has given him a useful insight into many industries.

Adam has a law degree from Oxford University and a philosophy degree from the University of London.  He is a seasoned rock climber,skier and CPSA marksman.

Adam is a co-founder of Capital Crime. He is also the membership coordinator for the ITW Debut Authors Program.

About the book:

An exiled agent. A growing threat. A clandestine war.
The world is changing beyond recognition.
Radical extremists are rising and seek to enforce their ideology globally.
Governments, the military and intelligence agencies are being outmanoeuvred at every step. Borders are breaking down. Those in power are puppets.
The old rules are obsolete. To fight this war a new doctrine is needed.
In a world where nothing is at it seems, where trust is gone, one man will make the difference.
Meet Ex-MI6 agent and man in exile, Scott Pearce.
It’s time to burn the espionage rule book.
Watch Pearce light the fire.


Before I show you all the cover, Adam kindly answered some questions for me!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m an author and screenwriter. Apart from three years living in Cairo between the ages of eight and eleven, I was born and raised in London. My wife and I moved to Shropshire a few years ago, where we now live with our three children. Having been a city boy most of my life, I’m a convert to the health benefits of living in the countryside and can often be found jogging along country lanes, or scaling cliffs in the Peak District and the Welsh mountains.


How did you end up becoming an author?

My parents struggled financially, so I wanted a career that was stable and lucrative and decided to study law at university. I found law quite dry and uninspiring, and after my degree became a management consultant. The sudden and unexpected death of my father caused me to re-evaluate my priorities and I decided to pursue my passion for writing. Amy and I left London, expecting it to take two years or so before I’d make any money from writing. It took ten.

I started off screenwriting because I was more comfortable with the form and was daunted by thought of writing a book, but in 2010, I decided to confront my fear and wrote a novel called Battalion. A big publisher was interested, but ultimately passed, so I self-published the book and it got nice reviews, which encouraged me to try again. The same thing happened with my second book, a dark paranormal thriller called Phase, and then I wrote Pendulum, which was the book that really changed things for me.

We went through some tough times during those ten ‘hardship’ years, but it’s been worth it, and not just for me. Amy’s also been writing and has fulfilled a lifetime ambition to become an author. She has a thriller, Remember Me, coming out with Orion in November.


How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

Like getting on a rollercoaster. I try to write action-packed books that will entertain readers and leave them a little breathless. I’m also fascinated by the issues raised by big social changes and weave them into my stories. Pendulum is all about the Internet and how it’s changed the way we interact. My new book, Black 13, is about the rise of the far-right and how espionage has changed beyond recognition.

Your forthcoming book, Black 13, rewrites the espionage thrillers as we know them. What made you decide to tear up the rule book with this one?

Black 13 is the first book in a new series that introduces readers to Scott Pearce and Leila Nahum. Pearce is a disgraced MI6 operative who’s on a quest to clear his tarnished reputation. Leila is a former M16 contractor, a fiercely independent Syrian refugee who’s haunted by the loss of her family. Black 13 sees them partner to take on a far-right conspiracy.

The book was inspired by my personal experiences during and after the 2016 EU referendum. I noticed a number of strange connections between disparate people and groups on social media and started mapping them. I took my research into the real world and went to a number of political meetings and protests on both sides of the divide, and talked to members and leaders of far-right and far-left groups, and people in law enforcement and intelligence.

One of my most surreal experiences was sitting in a Supermax prison next to a former member of a far-right group and hearing him say wistfully, ‘It’s all political now. Everything we were saying in the 80s and 90s, it’s all in the mainstream now. And there’s big money involved.’

That’s a pretty good summary of the landscape of Black 13.

One of the things I’m hoping to do with Black 13 and the Scott Pearce series is to showcase how intelligence has changed. Digital technology has given governments and private organisations the ability to manipulate populations. The Internet has democratised espionage work. We can all start and spread propaganda. Private citizens and corporations can and do employ intelligence organisations to carry out successful surveillance, intimidation and covert operations. Imagine what a well-resourced intelligence organisation can achieve in a world where they can reach billions of people directly.

Placing powerful digital tools in private hands and removing the filter of national media has put us all on the front line of contemporary espionage and I’m hoping the new Scott Pearce series will show the link between what happens on the street and what goes on in the corridors of power, and how covert operations affect us all in a very real and dangerous way.


Did you find it difficult to switch from the high-octane Pendulum trilogy universe to Black 13? 

Black 13 and the Scott Pearce series is every bit as high-octane as the Pendulum trilogy. Scott Pearce is a man who’s been trained for hostile environments and I really put him through his paces. And as for Leila…she’s inspired by three people I know. She’s been through things that would ruin many of us and struggles with a painful disability, and the events of Black 13 thoroughly test her, but she has a core of steel. I believe in pushing characters to their limits and letting the story unfold through action. It brings us back to the question about writing style. Black 13 is another rollercoaster, so readers will need to buckle up.


You’re also one of the co-founders of the newly created Capital Crime Festival, can you tell us what to expect?

David Headley and I founded Capital Crime last year and are hosting our first festival in London in September. We’ve brought together some of the world’s best crime and thriller authors in a huge celebration of the genre. It’s two-and-a-half days of marvellous events, screenings and parties and we’re trying to make it as inclusive and accessible as possible. We’ve got discount schemes for librarians and people on low incomes and are running initiatives to help people travelling alone connect with others. We want people to come to Capital Crime to spend time with their favourite authors and discover new ones, but most of all we want fans to have a wonderful and entertaining experience.


Are you guys ready to see the cover?

Take a look at this beauty….

I am BEYOND excited to read Black 13, and that cover is just perfect! If you want to pre-order your copy (published by Macmillan in 2020), just click the link below!

Black 13 by Adam Hamdy

LoveReading Book Buzz: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Hey guys,

Welcome back to my second review for the LoveReading Dark Artifices book buzz. Today its the turn of Lord of Shadows, and I’ll be sharing my review a little further down!

About the book:

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices) by Cassandra Clare

About the author:

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.

My thoughts:

Lord of Shadows is the second book in the Dark Artifices series, and it picks up after the events of Lady Midnight. For fear of spoilers if you’ve not read the first book, I’m not going to go into the plot of this one because I don’t want to give anything away.

There is plenty happening in Lord of Shadows. With the return of Mark Blackthorn, and Emma and Julian still trying to figure out how to live within the rules of the parabatai, this book shows the complicated relationships of the characters.

There is quite a political undertone in this one too. Not least in relation to how the Shadowhunters are being policed. I found that Lord of Shadows was a much darker book than Lady Midnight. There is a lot going on, but the threads from the previous book are woven really well into Lord of Shadows.

There is a lot more focus on the characters in this on, secondary characters especially come to the fore in Lord of Shadows. I have to say, Ty is definitely one of my favorites and I really enjoy reading about him and Kit.

Lord of Shadows definitely lives up to the first book in terms of action and intrigue. The plot moves fast and there are more than a couple of shocking moments peppered through the book.

Lord of Shadows is a great read. It captures the imagination of the reader and it creates a tapestry of imagery that really helps to paint a picture of the Shadowhunter universe.

Recommended for sure!

Don’t forget to come back next week for my final review of the series, Queen of Air and Darkness!

Check out the other blogs taking part in the book buzz this week:

Blog Tour: Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge ~ Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

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Chris McGeorge has an MA in Creative Writing (Crime / Thriller) from City University London where he wrote his first crime novel Dead Room for this thesis. He constantly told stories from a young age, whether they took the form of comics, short stories or scripts.

He is a lover of Golden Age crime, like Christie and Conan Doyle, leading his crime stories to be a mix of the old and the contemporary. He likes weird and wonderful plots, with plenty of intrigue and twists. 

His often coherent ramblings about everything pop culture can be found on his blog Festival of Blood and occasionally he produces the Sarcasmicast podcast with a group of friends.

About the book:

NOW..

My name is Matthew McConnell. You’ve probably heard my story.
I took five of my friends on a boat through the longest canal tunnel in England.

YOU…

It takes two hours and twenty-six minutes to travel through that tunnel.
Six of us entered that tunnel but I was the only one to come out.

DON’T…

It was pitch black in there – I don’t know what happened to them. But I’m the only suspect. 
And if I don’t find out how they disappeared, I’ll be sentenced to murder.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge

Ellen’s review:

This is the first book that I have read by Chris McGeorge but it won’t be the last! I absolutely loved this “locked room” thriller. In place of a locked room we have a long, creepy AF, claustrophobic tunnel; Standedge Tunnel in Marsden, West Yorkshire to be precise which is Britain’s longest, deepest, highest canal tunnel and one of the seven wonders of the waterways. Since reading Now You See Me I’ve added this attraction to my list of local places to visit – fingers crossed the rest of my family see it through to the other side!

The novel revolves around the case of The Standedge Six – six students entered the tunnel, two and a half hours later the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students on board, unconscious. The remaining student Matthew is immediately under suspicion, the police investigation concludes that he killed his friends, hid their bodies and returned later to move them but Matthew insists he is innocent. In desperation he reaches out to Robert Ferringham, a man who is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. Matthew contacts Robert for help with his case on the promise of revealing information about Sam.

Now You See Me is a book of many layers involving friends, secrets and lies. I was gripped the whole time that I was reading and didn’t predict any of the reveals. The small town mentality of the locals really adds to the tension; they are loathe to rake up the murky events and resent Robert’s appearance. The truth when it is revealed is jaw dropping, to say any more would spoil your enjoyment so just go read it!

Highly recommend!

Check out the tour:

Night by Night by Jack Jordan

‘If you’re reading this, I’m dead.’

Rejected by her family and plagued by insomnia, Rose Shaw is on the brink. But one dark evening she collides with a man running through the streets, who quickly vanishes. The only sign he ever existed – a journal dropped at Rose’s feet.

She begins to obsessively dedicate her sleepless nights to discovering what happened to Finn Matthews, the mysterious author of the journal. Why was he convinced someone wanted to kill him? And why, in the midst of a string of murders, won’t the police investigate his disappearance?

Rose is determined to uncover the truth. But she has no idea what the truth will cost her…

Night By Night by Jack Jordan

It’s been ages since I’ve finished a book and reviewed it on the same day, but here we are!

Night by Night has been on my TBR for a while (too long really!) so I picked it up yesterday just to get it started. And here we are 24 hours later and I’m done.

I’ve read and loved all of Jack’s books up to now, and Night By Night is definitely another excellent read. It was really compelling and I just couldn’t stop reading it once I started.

Rose is an insomniac, and it’s essentially ruining her life. When we meet her, she is on the edge. Exhausted, paranoid, emotional, everything that goes hand in hand with being barely able to function with no sleep. And when she experiences a tragic event, everything she has known is thrown into chaos.

Fast forward a few years and she is a shell of her former self. When she collides with a man on the street, who promptly disappears, she becomes embroiled in a situation that becomes increasingly dangerous for her and those around her.

Night By Night actually broke my heart, repeatedly. It is a highly emotive book and the narrative is very taut throughout. There is an underlying tension woven through the book, and it doesn’t let up.

Even though the subject matter is really tough, and it made me quite sad, Night by Night is a really great book. Emotionally charged, disturbingly relevant and delivered with honesty, Night by Night is Jack’s best book yet in my opinion

Highly recommended!

LoveReading Book Buzz: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Hi everyone,

Today I’m going to be sharing my review for Lady Midnight with you all just a little further down! This is the first of three posts coming over the next three Tuesdays as I review this series! Make sure to check back next Tuesday for my Lord of Shadows review!

About the book:

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark-who was captured by the faeries five years ago-has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind-and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Click the link below to get your copy now:

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

About the author:

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.

My thoughts:

I haven’t read Cassandra Clare for years, but when I was approached by LoveReading to read the Dark Artifices series, I was delighted because YA fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read now.

Lady Midnight took me a while to get into, I’m not going to lie, but once it got it’s claws into me I was hooked.

Having read some of the Shadowhunters series some years back, I had some idea of the characters and the history that led to where/when Lady Midnight is set.

Emma Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, and together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, she sets out to find out what really happened when her parents were killed five years ago. I haven’t fully caught up with the Mortal Instruments books, but I didn’t feel like I was missing out having not read some of the later books in the series.

Lady Midnight is a big book, packed with characters and information, which can be a lot to take in. Once I found my stride though, I was thoroughly invested in the journey that Emma goes on. I don’t want to go into plot details, because I always think that I’m essentially rehashing the blurb, so you won’t find that here.

I really enjoyed Lady Midnight. The characters were interesting, and though the premise is dark, there are some moments of levity in the narrative. The story definitely grabbed me, and I was intrigued to see where the author was going to take me.

I had been looking for a new YA series to get hooked on, and I have definitely found it with The Dark Artifices. It has plenty to keep the reader turning those pages, and I found myself racing to the end to see what was going to happen.

As soon as I finished Lady Midnight, I dove straight into Lord of Shadows, so make sure to come back next week to see what my thoughts are on that one.

Check out the other blogs taking part in the book buzz this week:

Blog Tour: Dead Inside by Noelle Holten~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Dead Inside by Noelle Holten and I’ll be sharing her review with you all in a little bit!

About the author:

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog. 
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18489795.Noelle_Holten

Blog: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

Instagram: @crimebookjunkie

About the book:

‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela Marsons

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt

A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

Out now from Killer Reads, you can order your copy by clicking the link below:

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten

Ellen’s Review:

Dead Inside is the debut novel from renowned book blogger Noelle Holten and I have to admit I was a little scared to agree to reading and reviewing it as I have known Noelle for quite a few years now and seen her move from the probation service into publishing and then to writing a novel as well. This lady is living the dream! What if I hated her book!?!

There was no need for concern, Dead Inside is certainly an impressive debut, Noelle’s knowledge and personal experience shines through and you can’t help but be pulled into the world of DC Maggie Jamieson. No punches are pulled in this story, it is gritty, realistic and really gives you an appreciation of what domestic abuse victims are put through and how not every case is black and white.

You are also given an insight into the abuser and while I was glad that they met a grisly end I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for some of them; violence begets violence after all. I’m in no way excusing this behaviour just saying that this book gives you a fuller picture of the development of a person’s behaviours and actions.

As this is the first in a series we are introduced to a large cast of characters which I initially struggled with but soon settled in to. It was interesting to get a behind the scenes look into how a multi-disciplinary team works in this situation and I enjoyed the interaction between the different groups of staff involved.

I really felt for Lucy Sherwood, a probation officer who deals with domestic abuse daily, not only at work as she is a victim at home. Her husband Patrick is possibly one of the most vile characters I have encountered! You really get an insight into how manipulative these people can be and how hard it is to escape that situation. But has Lucy resorted to being a vigilante…Maggie Jamieson certainly begins to suspect as much as men are being murdered and the only link appears to be her! When Patrick is brutally murdered there is even more suspicion, is Lucy capable of such grisly acts?

An enjoyable read and I have already pre-ordered the next in the series!

Check out the blog tour:

Blog Tour: The Whisper Man by Alex North ~ Ellen’s Review

Good morning folks,

After a blip this morning where the draft post and not the full post went out, I’m back again with the proper one!

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Whisper Man by Alex North, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

Alex North was born in Leeds, where he now lives with his wife and son. He studied Philosophy at Leeds University, and prior to becoming a writer he worked there in their sociology department.

About the book:

If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken . . .

Still devastated after the loss of his wife, Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake move to the sleepy village of Featherbank, looking for a much-needed fresh start.

But Featherbank has a dark past. Fifteen years ago, a twisted serial killer abducted and murdered five young boys.

Until he was finally caught, the killer was known as ‘The Whisper Man’.

Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they try to settle in to their new home.

Except that now another boy has gone missing. And then Jake begins acting strangely.

He says he hears a whispering at his window . . .

Click the link below to order your copy:

The Whisper Man by Alex North

Ellen’s Review:

Stop the press! The Whisper Man is going into my top reads of this year! The perfect combination of supernatural and serial killer chills are exactly what I’m looking for in a book and I found it in this outstanding debut novel by Alex North. I devoured it in one sitting; there was no way I could put it down and carry on as usual until I knew what the outcome was going to be!

I loved Tom and Jake Kennedy – after the sudden death of his wife Tom is struggling with his new life as a single parent and Jake is obviously deeply upset at the loss of his mum. His way of coping with this loss appears to be in creating an imaginary friend to talk to but at times this friend tells Jake scary things. Tom hopes that a fresh start in the town of Featherbank is just what they both need to move on and create new memories but is oblivious to the fact that the town has a dark past.

Twenty years ago a serial killer nicknamed The Whisper Man abducted and murdered five young boys, luring them out by whispering at their windows…admit it, you’ve got the shivers right!? The culprit, Frank Carter, was found and imprisoned but now a young boy has gone missing; did Frank always have an accomplice like the rumours suggested or is there a copycat on the loose?

It is up to detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis to find the boy before history repeats itself but this means Pete has to delve into a past he would rather forget and visit The Whisper Man in prison. It all takes a turn for the terrifying when Jake starts hearing a whispering at his window.

This book totally got under my skin and I definitely triple checked all my locks before I went to bed that night. The thought of your child being abducted is nightmarish in itself and there is so much more in this book to give you the creeps.

It is really difficult to review without being spoilery so I’ll end on saying that I am stunned this is a debut and excited to read more from Alex North.

All the stars!!

Check out the blog tour: